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Moderate or eliminate the marketplace (even if temporary)

Thread title: Moderate or eliminate the marketplace (even if temporary)
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02-25-2012, 02:21 PM
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derek lapp is offline derek lapp
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Originally Posted by smacklan View Post
Not to put anyone down, but (coming from someone who spent more than a few dollars buying quality designs over the years) I think the quality of work produced by today's designer compared to say 05 -08 has a lot to do with it. I hardly see anything anymore that I'd be willing to buy.
there wasn't really anything good then either.

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02-25-2012, 08:21 PM
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Our standards were lower. Probably.

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02-26-2012, 12:06 AM
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Since my activity within TF is primarily using the marketplace, here's my content contribution rant.


There wasn't really anything good then either.

Actually, that's simply not correct. "Smacklan" had it correct. It's pretty straightforward that there were many, many more quality designs a few years ago compared to now. While there is the occasional quality design that pops up in here from time to time, they are definitely few and far between these days. My hypothesis for this is pretty simple: Crowdsourcing.

Ever since "crowdsourcing" sites became mainstream a few years back, there's much less incentive to give each design your full efforts when you know a.) you're competing with dozens of other designers and b.) even if you do win a competition, the amount awarded is typically not a rate you'd typically charge a client directly. There are exceptions to this, but by and large the vast majority of competition cash awards given out these days are perfect for supporting individuals who have low, little, or no business expenses. Not so great for full time, professional designers. So, the result of this mess is that you'll find that a high number of the designs that come through TF (and other forums) are often either leftover "losing" designs from competitions OR they weren't even good enough to be approved on sites like themeforest...yet another phenomenon which has killed the "old" design industry. Sure, you might get a few referrals by posting a few themes for sale on sites like themeforest, but the overall business model of these types of websites do not encourage your average client to rush out and hire a designer to design a site from scratch for top dollar. Why do that when you can just buy a $35 WP theme and with only a few minor mods and BAM, you have a decent little website. The sad truth is that most people do not care if their website looks like 50 other designs that were also purchased from themeforest. Themeforest's massive success proves that. Today, from a designer's perspective, it pays more to simply sell your designs off in volume rather than individually or uniquely.

The other reason should be even more obvious, which is the fact that web design has become the number one diluted market on the planet, next to web hosting. Every high school or college student with an internet connection, iphone, and a laptop suddenly thinks he or she is a "brilliant" designer. These are people who have nearly ZERO business overhead in most cases. Many of these "designers" are still living with their parents or roommates, so they don't mind working for 1/4 of what the market rate is or should be. This has greatly diminished the quality of this industry. This factor, combined with the economy where every unemployed soccer mom has a brilliant idea and needs a website ASAP and doesn't have the slightest clue what a properly designed site looks like or what it's worth, is merely adding fuel to this already out of control fire. I can post a list of at least a dozen, very talented real designers that were at one point highly sought after and making a great living doing so but have since either left to work for a professional design firm, or left the industry entirely. Sadly, times have changed. Especially when gas is nearly 5 bucks a gallon here in the states, and much higher elsewhere. Again, there are exceptions to this, but in most cases, designing websites for others doesn't pay what it used to pay.

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03-03-2012, 12:17 PM
#14
derek lapp is offline derek lapp
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just because designs showing up in the marketplace may have been better then than they are now doesn't make them good.

crowdsourcing has been around forever. the marketplace here really isn't much different in theory: you're still throwing up generic templates that obviously cant be tailored to anything out of the box, thus reducing quality and reducing any leverage for charging a fair price.

designing websites for others does pay what it used to, and in may cases more. it's a matter of how one wants to run their business.

understand websites are just another form of marketing collateral and an extension of a brand, and you can position yourself as a creative, as a director, as someone a client will come to asking the question "what should we do?" then you are in the position to do and charge whatever you want. pump out generic templates, you're going to find people who don't care about their brand who are trying to get as much as they can for as little as they can.

a marketplace may be useful for unloading unused concepts that are beyond salvation in future projects, but designing before a brief of objectives is created is a business plan set up to fail imo, as a design designed with no objectives will obviously never achieve any objectives.


i'm not trying to rain on the parade, now i'm just trying to offer up the piece of advice i never got: being a good designer doesn't mean you're going to do well in the design business. after all, it's a business. if the extent of your business knowledge is going to be working out of your parents house for 1/4 the going rate, that's where you'll stay and those people get weeded out periodically. being good at design and having the ambition to understand the business aspect is going to be the difference maker in getting out of the league of basement dwellers.

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